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Heat, low prices hit Kenya's coffee crop; farmers shift to banana, avocado

Kenya's coffee production is tumbling - the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts the 2019/20 harvest will hit a 57-year low.

Climate Change | Kenya | Coffee production

Ayenat Mersie | Reuters  |  Machakos, Kenya 

Kenya's farmers are grubbing up their coffee bushes to plant other crops as low prices and climate change drive small growers to the brink of collapse. Arabica coffee, the higher-quality variety that Kenya grows, ends up in speciality beverages from Berlin to San Francisco. The plant thrives in moderate temperatures and high altitudes. But rising temperatures are scorching plants, making them susceptible to diseases such as coffee leaf rust. Farmer Shadrack Wambua Mutisya has been growing coffee up a winding hill southeast of the Kenyan capital for 40 years but he's ...

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First Published: Tue, December 10 2019. 18:16 IST